Fiction, Story

The Death of Killing

Contact Sheet

The silence echoed around him. As if creating a loop of never ending nothingness. The steel of the gun felt heavy in his hands, heavier than expected. At no time had this gun fired a round of bullets, and never had this man fired it at a fellow man. Until now.
  For him, resting his back against the dirt, the deed and the dead was as abstract as the universe itself. That he had made a man vanish was horrifying, unbearable. He had ripped him away from this earth, his earth, at the blink of an eye, never to return. Never to laugh, cry, or even yell. All that remained of him was the echoes of his scream in this man’s mind.

  Blindly staring at the ground, bullets rushed above his head. In the earthy, dug out ravine the end seemed so near, just an arm length away. And the walls so high. The earth. The soil we all begin from, so close and so easy to return to. To lay down in the ground, let the dust fall upon one’s face and disappear forever, not leaving a soul, or a thought behind, just the bones of what once was.
  Bullets hit the side above the man’s head and the fellows around him. Whistles blowing and men, as young as himself, running out into a plain field, heading aimed for the cat’s claws. Screams echoed in his ears, some long and full of agony. Others quick, short; commencing and cutting the air for a brief moment before returning to an abrupt silence masked by further.

  For every scream, every moll dampened impact that passed through the man’s ears, the gun in his two dirt stained hands grew heavier. From being as light as a newborn bird’s feather to as heavy as a cannon ball. It was as if the bullet had grown from the tiny lethal ball of atoms it was, into just that; a cannon ball propping the pipe shut.
  The heaviness grew to much for the gun to carry on its own. So it spread into the hands of its holder. Up the man’s arms, through his chest, and through his mind. But it stopped at his legs, they would not grow heavy. They would remain light as a feather. As if the mind told the legs it was their fault, they stood up. The hands let go, sending the gun drowning into the cold earth where it, in some universe, still belonged to.

  The mind, ordering the legs to follow, carried the man up the ravine’s edge that felt steeper and its contains more frightening by each step taken. The bullets that had fired from him now flew towards him, smashing the ladder’s sides and the dirt beneath them.
  It was quick. For a brief moment the scream echoed through the ears of the men around, then faded into the earth below, converting into a name on a list among thousands of others.

Viktor Aronsson

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Stockholm, Sweden

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